Who We Are

Josette Hendrix – Founder & Executive Director

Josette Hendrix was born in Bulgaria, in a French speaking family. By the age of 15 she had moved through 4 different languages & cultures absorbing and successfully adapting  to them. She majored in psychology and education at Wesleyan University, Connecticut, USA, and subsequently moved to the Seattle area where she raised her three children to be accomplished writers and artists.

In 1996 she founded the Northwest Language Academy (now NWLA Cultural Center) as a place for fostering cultural intelligence and celebration of diversity. An enthusiastic educator, Ms Hendrix employed her creativity, the love of cultural learning, innovative teaching skills, strong beliefs in transformative role of education and engaging the whole person — for teaching foreign languages to adults and children.Working in partnership with local schools, businesses and  non-profit organizations, Josette has devoted over 20 years to developing this cultural resource for the enrichment of the local community and beyond.

Maria Ellis- PhD, Program Manager
Nurturing intercultural understanding has always been close to my heart. Born and raised in the multi-cultural Soviet Union/Russia where education emphasized honoring cultural diversity and languages, in a family with Russian and Jewish traditions, speaking English since I was 4 y.o., and later learning French, Spanish, and German in addition to my native Russian, married to an American, — I enjoy “bridging” people of diverse cultures, helping them to better understand and appreciate each other and themselves.
I’ve been with NWLACC since 2013; it gives me much satisfaction that my love of teaching and learning, community, travel, geology, languages, spirituality, creativity, art, crafts & music are all get engaged at my workplace.  I’m proud of the programs we carry out here that help children and adults expand their horizons about the world and its people, wisdom from diverse cultures, learn new languages, build up their socio-emotional skills, and meet their learning needs and interests;  engage community in exploring together local, as well as global issues, and meet native speakers face to face. I treasure that I’ve met at NWLA so many inspiring, good hearted, knowledgeable & talented people from diverse cultural backgrounds who became my good friends.